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Top Five 2002: United States of America v Burns

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

United States of America v Burns, [2001] 1 SCR 283

This case involved the decision of whether or not to extradite the accused without first receiving assurances that the receiving country would not impose the death penalty.  The Supreme Court of Canada determined that Canada’s understanding of fundamental justice and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms compelled the Minister of Justice to seek assurances that the accused would not be subject to the death penalty before extraditing the accused. The full decision is available here.

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